South Carolina Legislative Update

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC
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Sine Die

The House and Senate met last week to consider gubernatorial vetoes and conference reports.  The House adjourned last Tuesday and is expected to return this summer to take up the veto of S. 813 (Public Library Trespass), which the Senate overrode late last week, and any other potential vetoes from the bills sent to Governor Haley on June 20.

New Leadership – Lieutenant Governor and Senate President Pro Tempore

Senator Yancey McGill (D- Williamsburg) was elected by the Senate to fill the vacancy of President Pro Tempore due to Senator John Courson’s (R-Richland) resignation from the position two weeks ago.  Immediately following Senator McGill’s election to President Pro Tempore, Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston) resigned and Senator McGill was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.  Senator Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) was elected by the Senate to serve as President Pro Tempore.

SC ethics reform bill dies, H. 3945

The Senate failed to take a vote last week on an ethics bill on the final day of the legislative session, killing the biggest possible change in laws regulating legislators in two decades  The proposals that included requiring more income disclosure by public officials as well as their immediate family and more contribution disclosures by political groups was top priority for Gov. Nikki Haley, who is seeking re-election this year.  Read more here.

College of Charleston research bill dies for this year, H. 4632

SC lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on a bill that would allow the College of Charleston to become a research university and relieve public colleges from some state regulation of construction projects and land purchases.  Read more here.

Gubernatorial Vetoes

Annual Appropriation Bill H. 4701

The House and Senate sustained over 20 of Governor Haley’s 76 vetoes of the annual appropriation bill (H. 4701) last week.  The Senate finished taking up the vetoes late last Wednesday evening.

Some of the notable vetoes sustained were the legislative in-district expense raise and $750,000 for the South Carolina Council for Competiveness (New Carolina).   Notable overrides include $2 million for elderly caregivers, $2 million for youth sports grants and $450,000 in lottery profits to private colleges.

First Steps Veto OverrodeH. 3428

The South Carolina agency tasked with boosting children's chances for success will continue with recommended reforms after the Legislature overrode Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto.  The law reauthorizing First Steps for School Readiness through 2016 better defines its mission and requires children to be tested before entering school to identify their needs and track their progress. That part aligns with a provision in the "Read to Succeed" law that Haley enthusiastically signed, as well as a clause in the 2014-15 state budget, which Haley advocated, that requires the testing this fall.  Read more here.

In the News

SC voters return to polls for runoff contests – June 24, 2014

Voters on Tuesday will pick their parties' choice to be South Carolina's education superintendent, while Republicans will also pick their lieutenant governor nominee. Read more here.

McKinney leaves SC lieutenant governor race

Retired Charleston developer Pat McKinney, who entered the race first and outraised his opponents by a wide margin, surprised S.C. political experts and his foes by ending his bid for S.C. lieutenant governor on Thursday, his campaign manager said.  McKinney and Columbia businessman Mike Campbell were headed to an automatic recount Friday for the second GOP runoff spot against former state Attorney General Henry McMaster. Despite outspending Campbell by nearly $800,000, McKinney held a slim 1,250-vote lead after the primary Tuesday – a margin of less than 1 percentage point that triggers a recount.  Campbell, son of the late Gov. Carroll Campbell, now will face McMaster in the June 24 runoff.  Read more here.

Marine who threw himself at grenade receives Medal of Honor

Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter took the brunt of a live grenade lobbed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010, saving a fellow Marine’s life and nearly losing his own.  On Thursday, the 24-year-old stood beaming and very much alive as President Barack Obama bestowed upon him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.  Read more here.

SC State University accreditation downgraded

SC State University's accreditation was placed on probation Thursday after an outside review cited the Orangeburg college for problems with its finances, governance, administration and financial aid program.  The state's only historically public black college has a year to make changes or could face another year under probation, said Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which oversees school's accreditation.  Read more here.

Giti Tire will build $560M plant, create 1,700 jobs in Chester Co.

Chester County is taking its place in South Carolina’s tire kingdom. Giti Tire, a Singapore-based manufacturer, ended weeks of speculation over who might come to Chester County, announcing Monday it will build a $560 million plant and create about 1,700 jobs in Chester County over the next decade.  The plant will be at a “mega site” off Interstate 77, bounded by S.C. 9 on the north and Old Richburg Road to the south.  Read more here.

Two companies moving to Fort Mill cited desirable lifestyle in the area

For two companies leaving Charlotte for Fort Mill, the decision was all about the green – but not in the traditional sense.  Economic deals are usually about dollars, cents and incentives.   But what sealed the deal for the Lash Group and LPL Financial Carolinas was the lifestyle offered by the Anne Springs Close Greenway.  Read more here.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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